All of us baby boomers are rushing headlong toward retirement.
In honor of Older Americans Month in May, the U.S. Census Bureau released these statistics that make clear just how quickly we're climbing over the hill and sliding down the other side.
- In 2009, there were 39.6 million Americans 65 and older -- about 13 percent of the population. By 2050, there will be 88.5 million people older than 65, a commanding 20 percent of the total population.
- Of that golden oldie total in 2050, 601,000 will be 100 and older. Bring on the long-term care and longevity insurance.
- And here's a motivation to do financial retirement planning. In 2009, the median annual income of households headed by people 65 and older was $31,354. That's almost $19,000 lower than the median for all households.
- Money is one of the big reasons there were 6.5 million people 65 and old in the labor force in 2009. The Department of Labor projects that by 2018, more than 11.1 million people older than 65 will be on the job, about half of them working full time.
- More than 70 percent of citizens 65 and older voted in the 2008 presidential election. That's why you shouldn't worry too much about our legislators cutting back Social Security and Medicare. That's political suicide.
- Remember the song "California Dreamin'"? Lots of us baby boomers agreed with The Mamas & the Papas when they said they'd be "safe and warm ... in L.A." There are now more than 4.1 million people 65 and older living in the Golden State. That's followed by 3.2 million who opt for Florida, the Sunshine State, and 2.6 million who are still hanging out in New York, the Empire State.
- Wherever we choose to live, we like to own our own homes. Despite the housing meltdown, more than 80 percent of people over 65 were homeowners at the end of 2010.
One thing is clear: We may be fatter and grayer, but we're still a force to be reckoned with and will be for a long time to come.